I’m a food shamer.
We all are, to some degree.
But it’s time to ease up a bit, especially during a global pandemic.
What is food shaming? It’s passing judgment — whether silently or aloud — about another’s food choices.
Heck, you can food shame yourself. Ever said you were “so bad” or “naughty” for eating something?
Food is a really personal thing. Our food choices are shaped by taste and budget and religion and how we’re feeling that moment.
Nutrition is strange. One day something is good for you, another day it’s bad. Start trying to find advice online and you’ll find sources that tell you to avoid fruit and carrots because there’s too much sugar or that you’re either eating fast food every day for every meal or only eating vegan organic.
Some people judge others for buying — or not buying — generic.
I tend to judge people about using things like box mixes or other store-bought shortcuts. I’m trying to do less of that because sometimes you need a quick fix.
Some people judge others for eating meat or fat or sugar, others for eating out too much or picking the salad at a burger place.
Part of what has made me realize my food-shaming ways is following a bunch of registered dietitians on Instagram. Their whole deal is giving people sound nutrition advice: not whittling your diet down to 1,200 calories a day, which is what a toddler needs, or telling you which fresh fruits are keto-approved.
Registered dietitians with an Instagram presence are wonderful. One of my favorites, Colleen Christiansen, a Michigan-based dietician whose handle is @no.food.rules, often shares her weekly tradition of eating warmed up salad kits.
It’s kind of genius, and I’m mad I didn’t think of it.
A warmed-up salad kit has everything — grains, veggies, protein and a yummy sauce to pull everything together.
Eat your veggies, but don’t beat yourself up for grabbing a burger in the drive-thru here and there. Spend all day making delicious cookies from scratch or buy that pre-made cookie dough and have them in 10 minutes.
Food is so much more than fuel. It comforts us, it entertains us, it brings us together. There’s a reason so many recipes end with the word “enjoy.”